Nudibranchs... Have you ever heard of them?
The Nudibranch is a small soft-bodied, marine mollusc which comes in all kinds of shapes and colours! Some are spiky, some are flat and some are egg shaped. The variety in these little creatures is astounding and never stops to surprise you. One of my favourite things to do while diving is trying to find them and when I do; I always have a big smile on my face. I just love the fact when their amazing colours burst out at you from the bottom of the sea and even though they move very slowly, they are quite fun to watch, especially since there's always something new to see or discover with these little guys. Sometimes they are teeny-tiny small (smaller than your pinkie fingernail!) and almost hard to find and sometimes you can find them in a group of 3 or more, but that's more common during mating time.
There are about 2300 different valid Nudibranch species around the world and even if most divers see them in quite shallow water they have been found at depths over 700 m (2300 ft). The beautiful, bright colours of the Nudibranch indicate that they are poisonous and it also works as a great camouflage. Have you ever seen the eggs of a Nudibranch? They lay them in a gelatinous spiral which sometimes resembles pretty, colourful flowers on the ocean floor. Nudibranchs, meaning "Naked gills" in Latin, are found in seas worldwide, both in the Tropics and Antarctica for example. In which oceans have you seen them?
If you're not already familiar with the Nudibranchs, try to be on the lookout for them on your next dive. It will be well worth the effort!